USC Throwback: Matt Leinart was motivated by Oklahoma talking smack to his face

Former USC football quarterback Matt Leinart.
Former USC football quarterback Matt Leinart. / Brian Bahr/Getty Images

When USC football battled Oklahoma in the 2005 BCS National Championship Game, the Sooners spent the week leading up to the game trash talking.

That's according to USC football great Matt Leinart, who was looking back on his experience as a Heisman Trophy winner about to play in a national title game.

"I remember all of the Oklahoma Sooners were talking so much smack to my face. They're like 'This is the guy who won the Heisman Trophy? Are you kidding me? We're going to crush him,'" Leinart said on FS1. "It actually gave me more motivation to go out there and play well."

As we all know, Leinart did indeed play well. He torched Oklahoma with five touchdown passes and 332 yards. By halftime, USC led 38-10. The Trojans ended up winning 55-19 to secure the national title.

Leinart was indeed the Heisman Trophy winner. USC was kidding no one. And the only ones who got crushed were the Sooners.

Matt Leinart's title run with USC football was the high-point for USC this century

Unfortunately, USC has won a national title bout since that evening at the Orange Bowl in 2005. They haven't been to the championship-deciding game since 2006's loss to Texas.

This year, it's Alabama and Ohio State who will compete for the crown with wide receiver DeVonta Smith looking to justify his selection as the Heisman Trophy winner (not that anyone from Ohio State has been stupid enough to publicly question his legitimacy).

One day, the Trojans will be involved in those discussions. They're not there at the moment.

Maybe 2021 will prove USC isn't as far away as they feel at times. Maybe Kedon Slovis will make a run at becoming the next Trojan quarterback to bring a Heisman Trophy to Heritage Hall. We'll have to wait and see.

Next. Ranking the Best USC QBs of All-Time. dark